Chapter 5: Suffering of Samsara

All sentient beings in the six realms of samsara are in the state of suffering.

Some are actually experiencing suffering and some are on the way to suffering.

Even those who are most successful in their lives, whether in the field of business, politics, or science, are still not free from suffering.

Some, in an attempt to free themselves from suffering, create the cause of more suffering.

So, with awareness of this, you will gain a chance to release aversion and hatred, particularly toward enemies or those you don’t like. Release the hatred and gain the opportunity to develop concern and compassion.

As human beings, we suffer aging, sickness, and death. We struggle to gather things that we want and then struggle to protect the things that we have.

Just as we experience these kinds of suffering in the human realm, we will experience conditions as described in this chapter if we are born in the other realms. But even in the human realm, one can experience the suffering of the six realms—not physically, but mentally.

Dharma Lord Gampopa also explained suffering in three ways.

The suffering of suffering refers to the experience of physical and mental pain.

The suffering of change means that all the temporary happinesses, such as youth and success in life, are subject to change and lead to suffering when we are attached to them.

Pervasive suffering refers to the fact that all beings in samsara are permeated by suffering; even if we are successful, still there is no satisfaction. Suffering is bound to come. We are definitely not free of suffering.

Source: Gampopa, Dharma Lord. The Jewel Ornament of Liberation: The Wish-fulfilling Gem of the Noble Teachings. Translated by Khenpo Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche. Edited by Ani K. Trinlay Chodron. Boulder, Colorado: Snow Lion, 1998.